News

Former Executive Director of the Havre De Grace Housing Authority Sentenced for Bribery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Williams D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced George R. Robinson, age 63, of Bel Air, Maryland, today to three years probation, six months of which is to be served in a halfway house, for bribery of a public official. Judge Quarles also ordered Robinson to pay a fine of $1,200.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Ken Taylor of the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General - Office of Investigations.

According to his guilty plea, Robinson was Executive Director of the Havre de Grace Housing Authority (HDGHA) since 2002, and was responsible for its day-to-day operations, including the management of Somerset Manor, a 60 unit public housing project in Havre de Grace. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided rental subsidies which paid for the housing project’s capital expenditures and monthly operating expenses. Robinson was responsible for overseeing the spending of the rental subsidies, including obtaining bids and awarding contracts for improvements to the housing project.

According to the statement of facts, on May 28, 2009, Robinson was recorded by the FBI and HUD-Office of Inspector General (OIG) asking a contractor for a kickback of $1,200 from the $4,000 set aside to replace the kitchen faucets in all of the units at Somerset Manner. Robinson subsequently awarded the project to the contractor. On June 11, 2009, at a meeting that was videotaped, the contractor met Robinson at the housing project and gave Robinson a bank envelope containing $1,200 in cash. While counting the money Robinson made light of the fact that the contractor had shorted him by $100 on a prior occasion. The contractor advised authorities that there were other occasions when Robinson had asked for and received kickbacks as a precondition to allowing the contractor to make improvements at the housing project.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and HUD-Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Martin J. Clarke, who prosecuted the case.

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